Interview – Team Penske’s Will Power Before The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix
For those who have a passing interest in American Open Wheel Racing, many have heard one of the best names a race car driver could have - Will Power - over and over again for all the right reasons. No driver has been more successful over the last five years of Verizon IndyCar Series competition than Power. His 21 victories and 30 pole awards are the most in the series since 2009.
He is the 2014 Championship winning driver of a four driver Team Penske’s racing effort and has been runner-up in the championship points more times than anyone wishes to keep track of.
Power moved to the United States in 2006 to pursue his motorsports dream and after honing his skills in his native Australia and Europe, he quickly became a winning driver in the ChampCar World Series with Walker Racing and Team Australia before he joined KV Racing Technology in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
On the side, Will Power loves to play drums in his spare time. He has been playing drums ever since he bought a drum kit with his first working paycheck at the age of 15.
Will and his wife, Elizabeth, were married in 2010. The couple resides in Charlotte, NC.
Welcome Will Power -
1) The first question that has to be asked as we go in to a western two race run with an odd shaped oval at Phoenix International Raceway's Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix and the rites of spring closed circuit street race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - IndyCar medical director Geoffery Billows diagnosed you with a mild concussion, at the first race of the season in St. Petersburg, and you were entered into the concussion protocol - Yes or No - Are you cleared for this next race in Phoenix? ... Tell us a little about this process and how one gets cleared back into a race car.
2) How has your workout regimen been effected, do you feel that you have the strength and endurance to participate in this oval event, or would a couple of weeks of rehab be better for the Long Beach street course?
3a) While the Verizon IndyCar Series competes the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, the FIA is racing special open wheel race in cars powered by electricity at the Faraday Future Long Beach ePrix - Do you think that there is any appetite for an American sanctioned racing series that would use open wheel cars powered by electricity?
3b) You mentioned Australia, what are your thoughts on where an IndyCar race should be held if it were to go back – Melbourne, Queesland? …
4) This may sound a little odd but playing drums requires each appendage - the two hands and arms along with the two feet and legs - to function independently yet in timing unison, do you feel that developing this kind of skill and coordinated understanding helps in the piloting of a championship winning race car?
5) At the Phoenix track test last February, the 2016 Dallara DW platform was blisteringly fast ... unofficially exceeding the previous track record by four and a quarter miles per hour. Given these kind of speeds on a one-mile odd shaped oval, how important is it to start from the pole position and how difficult will it be to pass other cars for position if one gets behind, assuming one has a proper handling car given the changes in the aero packages on both the Honda and Chevy platforms?
Two very different challenges lay in front of you with Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Thank you, and all the best to you and Elizabeth as this 2016 season gets off to a serious start through this early season western swing.
Any final thoughts?
Thank you Will Power and all the best throughout the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Phoenix International Raceway boasts a rich IndyCar history, hosting 61 races from its opening in 1964 through 2005. Past winners have included the likes of A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser and Johnny Rutherford. This year’s field will include a pair of previous winners at PIR, Helio Castroneves of Team Penske and Tony Kanaan from Chip Ganassi Racing Teams.
Tickets for the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix are on sale, with prices ranging from $35-70. Each ticket includes access to pit road. Tickets for children are $10 and active-duty military members and veterans will receive discounted pricing. Tickets are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com and by phone at (866) 408-RACE (7223).
PIR also announced that platinum-selling rock band Better Than Ezra will perform on the track's main stage on race day, with admission to the concert free to fans with a grandstand ticket. Formed in 1988, Better Than Ezra has released eight studio albums, including "Deluxe," which went platinum following its 1993 release.
The Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix
– the second race of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule that also includes the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil
– will be a 250-lap race airing on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network (8:30 p.m. ET April 2).
Practice and qualifying take place April 1, with the opening practice (1 p.m. ET) and qualifying (5 p.m. ET) also airing live on NBCSN. Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires is also on the PIR weekend schedule, with its 90-lap race slated for 4:25 p.m. ET April 2.
... notes from The EDJE
TAGS: Verizon IndyCar Series, Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Phoenix International Raceway, Will Power, Team Penske, The EDJE, Faraday Future Long Beach ePrix